Positive Parenting Means Kids Do Whatever they Want…Right?

Positive Parenting Means Kids Do Whatever they Want…Right?

Parents are frequently perplexed when it comes to calm parenting. They believe that if they quit disciplining their children, they would allow them to do anything they want.

However, this presupposes that there are only two options: permissive or punishing. What if you set high standards for yourself while also providing your child with the awareness and support he or she needs to reach those standards?

Let’s assume you tell your child it’s bedtime, and she either ignores you or yells NO! What options do you have?

Make a threat or punish her. You must keep increasing; else, everyone’s evening will be ruined, and your connection with your child will deteriorate.

Allow her to do as she pleases. You’re making a trade-off between what’s best for your child and the rest of the family. Until you inevitably erupt…. Parenting that isn’t exactly responsible or calm!

Set a boundary — using empathy as a guide. “I understand you don’t want to quit playing,” say. It’s difficult to put a halt to it. I’m sure you’ll play all night, every night when you grow up, won’t you? AND it’s time to get ready for bed right now…. Do you want to go to the bath on a plane or hop there as fast as a rabbit?

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It’s not about avoiding conflict that creates a calm parent. Children learn by pushing boundaries, and your kid will never understand why it’s so essential to take his bath RIGHT NOW! Conflict is part of every human interaction, children learn by pushing boundaries, and your child will never understand why it’s so important to take his bath RIGHT NOW! As a result, parents must set limits and expectations on a regular basis.

The ability to control one’s own emotions is what distinguishes a tranquil parent. That way, you may stay intimately linked while establishing boundaries and resolving conflicts. That is what makes a house calmer. That is what motivates your child to want to follow your instructions. That’s what helps kids learn to control their emotions so they can control their behaviour — and WANT to!

So it’s not like calm parents aren’t in command. Of fact, they have more control over their own responses and, as a result, the tone in their home than other parents. As a result, they are able to be better role models for their children.

Of course, your child will still be able to “do anything she wants” at times.

  • That’s usually because you agree with what she’s doing, such as making a sandcastle on the beach.
  • It might be that she truly wants something and you decide you can live with the consequences, such as having a sand table in the house.
  • It may even be against your better judgement, but you decide to give it a shot and oversee her, just like you would if you were constructing a sandcastle in your kitchen.
  • Yes, you’ll let things slide occasionally because you’re holding the baby and can’t interfere, or you just don’t have the energy to fight. So you figure that if she brings some sand from her sandbox and dumps it on the kitchen floor to play with, it won’t be too difficult to clean up.

However, you are not abdicating in any of these situations. You’re about to make a choice.

To be a peaceful parent, you must first manage your own emotions. Then you attempt to see things through the eyes of the child, so you search for a win-win situation where the child gets some or all of what she wants. If you truly believe the response should be No, you don’t let your child “do anything she wants.” It’s possible that you don’t believe what your child wants to do is safe. Perhaps you can’t bear cleaning up another mess since it will throw you into a spiral of wrath and shouting. After all, you’re attempting to satisfy your childrens demands, but your own needs are as important if you want to maintain your calm!

As a result, Peaceful Parents DO refuse to say yes. Plenty. It’s also not harmful to your child. In reality, the experience of “switching gears” between what he wants and what you’re asking is what helps your child learn self-control. However, there is a snag. When children are constantly pushed and coerced to do things they don’t want to do, they develop resistance. Resistance arises when we shout or when they believe we are being unjust.

That is why external discipline does not result in the development of self-discipline. The key is to stay connected and empathetic so that your child understands you’re on his side and will, however unwillingly, comply with your request.

Does this imply that if you show patience, your child will always cooperate? Unfortunately, the answer is no. She’ll still object a lot of the time. So, how can you keep calm and optimistic?

How To Be A Positive Parent

Stay Calm

Your child will undoubtedly spin out of control if you go into “fight or flight” mode. Your child is more likely to cooperate if you remain calm. According to research, even noting your breathing might help you relax. It’s also beneficial to pay attention to your ideas and rephrase them as needed. As an example, “Why is she torturing me like this? “I can’t handle it!” could be replaced with “She’s acting like a kid because she is a child… I’m the responsible adult in this situation… Whatever happens, I’ll be OK.”


Your kid is far more likely to accept your restriction if she feels understood. “You truly want to be able to… You’re really not content… That’s what you were hoping for.”


If they reject or defy us, it means we need to put more effort into connecting with them. If your kid frequently refuses to cooperate, make sure you spend daily Special Time with him or her. Every family I’ve met that has prioritised Special Time has reported a more tranquil home.

Don’t Punish

You might expect your child to be less cooperative if you’ve been swatting her hand or dragging her to timeout. She doesn’t believe you’re genuinely on her side. And, why should she, she isn’t growing the portion of her brain that permits her to switch gears? She isn’t learning self-discipline since she is being driven from the outside. So, until you frighten her, she doesn’t have the mental control or incentive to comply with your request. (Wondering What’s Wrong With Strict Parenting?) If you want your child to cooperate without threats or punishment (fear conditioning), you must first focus on connection so that he or she WISHES to follow your example.

All Parties Should Benefit From The Outcome

So she won’t be able to reach the top shelves. But can you fetch the stepladder with her and point her in the right direction so she can climb up? Most of the time, if you define your worries, you’ll be able to discover a solution that meets both of your requirements. This does not imply that you go to great efforts to fulfil her wants all day. It implies your child understands you’re on her side and that you’ll do your best to balance her wishes with the requirements of the rest of the family.

Embrace The Tantrum

There are instances when finding a win-win solution is impossible. It is not necessary to grant your childrens every wish. In reality, young people (like adults) frequently start fights when they just seek a way to express their strong emotions. Your child may act out to communicate that he needs your aid to unload his emotional burden, especially if you’re shifting from punishment (fear conditioning) to positive parenting.

As a result, set a clear, loving limit and summon all of your compassion. This offers a secure environment for your child to express his feelings and concerns to you. Remember that young children have huge sentiments, and their brains haven’t evolved enough to express emotions via language, so he may act as if it’s the end of the world. Even if his anger is aimed at you, accept his disappointment with as much understanding as you can.

Your sympathy shows that you care and that you’re sorry it’s causing him so much distress. Your composure (rather than your words) conveys that you understand that these are simply sentiments that will pass after they’ve been acknowledged, and the sun will shine again. Your kid builds resilience by experiencing all of those feelings in the safety of your presence and learning that she can get through it and be okay.

You Are A Leader

Being in control entails acting as a leader and establishing clear boundaries. You, on the other hand, are not a dictator. Good leaders provide an example for others to follow. They pay attention, attempt to balance everyone’s requirements and provide protection. Being in control implies that you accept responsibility for creating a healthy, caring atmosphere. You establish clear expectations and provide your kid with any assistance she requires to fulfil them. So, if she isn’t complying, think about what type of help she requires from you.

Process Your Emotions

For example, if your parents were severe, you could worry that you won’t be able to manage your childrens every action until you’re in charge. Perhaps you don’t want to repeat the pattern, so you don’t put any limitations. That isn’t going to assist your children. When things ultimately get out of hand, you’ll probably end up shouting. Children who have no boundaries constantly push us to our limits.

If, rather of being hijacked by our own childhoods, we can allow ourselves to feel all those old emotions of loneliness, sorrow, and sadness, they no longer have authority over us. When our children are unhappy, we will not go into fight or flight mode. We have complete control over setting limits and guiding our child with sensitivity. We can let go of the guilt, increase our self-care, and reconnect with our child when we lose it.

Allowing children to do anything they want is not beneficial for them or for us. However, the great thing about empathetic limitations is that they encourage children to WANT to comply.

As a result, you become more tranquil.

What You Should Do Next:

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  • Easily get kids to listen – the FIRST time. No yelling or reminding…not even once!
  • Put an end to daily power struggles. Bedtime became a breeze, and all the dawdling, chore wars, sibling rivalry, and mealtime meltdowns disappeared.
  • Reduce backtalk by HALF! It’s simple once you know the secrets of these two ‘buckets.’
  • Say goodbye to punishments that DON’T work. There’s a 5-step formula that works WAYYY better than time-outs.
  • Feel amazing, confident, and empowered as a parent, every day. I NEVER go to bed feeling guilty anymore! (Okay, well maybe sometimes…’ mom guilt’ is still a thing.)
Got a threenager? You want this class. Got an actual tween or teen? Then what are you waiting for? Sign up for the webinar right NOW and watch the BEST, most life-changing parenting video ever.

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  6. 7.Riley AR, Wagner DV, Tudor ME, Zuckerman KE, Freeman KA. A Survey of Parents’ Perceptions and Use of Time-out Compared to Empirical Evidence. Academic Pediatrics. Published online March 2017:168-175. doi:10.1016/j.acap.2016.08.004
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